(Photo credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Luis Robert Jr. and Dylan Cease are not untouchable, contrary to reports last week, Chicago White Sox general manager Chris Getz clarified on Friday.
"I've made it very clear that the White Sox are willing to listen in on any of our players," Getz said in a USA Today interview.
The first-year general manager reportedly is under order to slash payroll, but Robert is under contract as part of a six-year, $50 million deal he signed in 2019. The Silver Slugger Award winner in 2023 also received 21 votes for American League MVP -- more than New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and Texas Rangers slugger Adolis Garcia -- but the White Sox finished with 101 losses and a long-term rebuild is expected.
Robert, 26, hit .264 with 38 home runs in 2023 and would draw significant trade interest if Getz truly makes him available to suitors. Another slugging outfielders rumored to be on the trade market in the offseason includes Juan Soto of the San Diego Padres. The 25-year-old Soto hit .275 with 35 home runs and 109 RBIs in 2023.
Right-hander Cease, 27, was the 2022 AL Cy Young Award runner-up with a 2.20 ERA but jumped to a 4.58 ERA last season.
While Getz referred to him as a valuable front-of-the-rotation piece for the White Sox, his trade value might speed up a rebuild on the South Side.
Cease pitched last season on a one-year, $5.7 million contract he signed to avoid arbitration and said the White Sox hadn't mentioned a long-term extension.
"I'd always be open to something that's a fair, good deal. To my knowledge, there's nothing in the works in that regard," Cease said, "but I love Chicago, and I'd always be open to having a dialogue for sure."
Sellers at the trade deadline, the farm system already received a boost from trading away right-handed starters Lucas Giolito (Los Angeles Angels) and Lance Lynn (Los Angeles Dodgers). Chicago included right-handed reliever Joe Kelly in the Lynn deal and received right-handers Nick Nastrini and Jordan Leasure and outfielder Trayce Thompson in return.
Getz was named general manager after the White Sox fired Rick Hahn and president Ken Williams in August.
--Field Level Media